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Week two of the playoffs have had its fair share of memorable moments since the inception of seeding in 1975. From the "tuck rule" to 4th and 26, even to the end of the RCA dome in the 2008 divisional playoff round. But as we move forward to the 2010 divisional playoff round, the stories shifted from the amazing to the improbable. Teams that were self-pronounced ghosts mere weeks ago have put M Knight Shyamalan to shame. But was this weekend more about the resurrection of the youth in the league, or the resurgence of the old? With Brett Favre's 4 touchdown passes (3 to a reinvigorated Sidney Rice), Peyton Manning's complete control, and Drew Brees' flawless execution, many would argue this is the year for the veterans. But these playoffs have had a flair of the nostalgic nicely mixed in with the youthful injection. With the weekend beginning with the signing of Saint idol Deuce Mcallister to a one day contract, and ending with a young southern-Californian Mark Sanchez taking care of the team he watched dispatch Peyton Manning in last year's playoffs (from the endzone in which he threw his only td pass), the league has been filled with thrills on and off the field. A quick recap of the individual games:
-It's funny how the playoffs can redefine a player. And when I say redefine, I mean totally bring a player out of the national cellar. Did you SEE Reggie Bush in that game? It was almost as if Reggie was telling Pete Carroll he is making the wrong move coming to the pro game if he has to face THAT Reggie every few years. But in all seriousness, the Saints have found out the perfect way to utilize him all season, as a more slot-type b-back in a traditional t-bone offense (without the option for the most part), allowing him space to run and use the talent he displayed in Southern California. The Saints pulled out all the stops from flee-flickers to punt returns to solid running in crunch time to seal the deal. Watch out for them in the next round, their 3-week "layoff" has paid off. Look for Kurt Warner and Boldin's futures to be decided sometime around the draft. The Cardinals have played well all year and they have a very young team with a bright future. They need to address the backup quarterback situation in the draft and they should continue to be a force in the future.
-In a very Colt-like playoff performance, the ball was put in the air 44 times, leading to a very dominating win by the Colts. On a somewhat off-day for Manning, the Colts used a strong defensive effort (even by members of the offense), and terrorized the beat-up Flacco into mistakes and inefficiency. After the Colts blew their chance at a perfect season against the Jets (against whom they play next week), they are hungry to make a difference in these playoffs, and prove everyone in the NFL that they made the right decision. I won't write anymore about them, well, because that is just the way they'd like it... short, sweet, under the radar.
And now to not burn the toast: (the games that have been talked about ad naseum and quite frankly, you know everything about them already, so it makes no sense to beat a dead Cowbo.. i mean... horse...
-Old dude beats young dude who idolized old dude when young dude was too young to play professionally.
-A fat guy who said the team was dead beats the team that had won 11 straight because of a 12 year-old kicker and a southern California guy who should still be in school.
Now all we have to do is wait and dream for the many spectacular endings to a very strange and eventful 2009-2010 NFL season.
Also posted at http://360sport.blogspot.com/ (Check it out!)